The Applicability of Criminology to Terrorism Studies: An Exploratory Study of ISIS Supporters in the United States

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Parker, Amanda Marie Sharp
Islamic State; subculture; social media; criminological theory
thesis / dissertation description
In the years following the 11 September 2001 attacks, research in the area of terrorism expanded exponentially. However, the changing nature of terrorism and lack of available data make it a difficult topic for criminologists to study; as academics we do not have access to the governmental data and data that is publicly available is often restricted due to the sensitive nature of national security issues. As first hand data is not available, an alternate data source, court records, may provide insight to the profile of current terrorists/terrorist supporters in the United States. Using court data from 71 cases of individuals in the United States charged with providing support to ISIS, and comparing this profile to the established profiles of other non-traditional criminal groups, this exploratory study attempts to be a first effort in examining the contributions criminology can make to the study of terrorism; from both theoretical and law enforcement perspectives.